How To Lose Weight With The Ketogenic Diet September 27, 2016

The Ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet plan that has helped many women and men around the world to lose 10-15 pounds in five weeks. The ketogenic diet or keto diet is a long-term weight loss diet plan in which you will consume about 77% fat, 17% proteins, and 5% carbs.

Carbs are one of the main reasons for the accumulation of fat. A low-carb diet will help you lose water weight in the first week, and effectively burn fat in the next four weeks. Fewer carbs and moderate proteins lower the levels of sugar in the body. This enables the body to convert the stored fat into ketone molecules, which are used as the energy source instead of sugar molecules. Hence, you will burn more fat and lose more weight.

In this article, we will discuss the ketogenic diet, how it works and helps to lose weight, week by week diet plan, exercises to follow, lifestyle changes to make, foods to eat and avoid, and the benefits and side effects of the ketogenic diet.

30-Day Ketogenic Diet Plan For Weight Loss

  1. What Is The Ketogenic Diet And How Does It Work?
  2. Facts About The Ketogenic Diet
  3. Ketogenic Diet Plan Week 1
  1. Ketogenic Diet Plan Week 2
  1. Ketogenic Diet Plan Week 3
  1. Ketogenic Diet Plan Week 4
  1. Ketogenic Diet Plan Week 5
  1. Ketogenic Diet Shopping List
  2. Ketogenic Diet Foods
  3. Ketogenic Diet Foods To Avoid
  4. Role Of Exercises
  5. Lifestyle Changes
  6. Keto Diet Supplements
  7. Keto Diet Results
  8. Keto Diet Benefits
  9. Keto Diet Side Effects
  10. Ketogenic Diet Tips
  11. FAQs

1.What Is The Ketogenic Diet And How Does It Work?

The ketogenic diet was first created by Dr. Russell Wilder in 1924 for treating epilepsy (1). Doctors recommend the ketogenic diet for epileptic patients who do not respond to any other treatment. The combination of low carbohydrate and high fat changes the way sugar is used as energy in the body. Low carb means less sugar, and in order to get energy, the body breaks the fat molecules into ketones. These ketones are used by the body as the primary energy source instead of glucose. Therefore, when ketosis kicks in, ketones are used instead of carbohydrate or sugar for fuel. This helps to burn the stored fat and lose weight. Gradually, many people started to follow this diet to lose weight. The ketogenic diet is now one of the most practiced diet plans all around the globe.

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2. Facts About The Ketogenic Diet


Image: Shutterstock

  • Consume More Fat

It is surprising, but the ketogenic diet requires you to consume more fat. You can eat cream, butter, nuts, and other fatty food. Reduce the consumption of foods rich in carbohydrates, such as high glycemic index fruits and vegetables, sugar, bread, carb-rich grains, and pasta. You can eat only 50 grams of carbohydrates per day.

  • Consume Moderate Amounts Of Proteins

You have to careful about consuming proteins as well. Too much protein intake can alter the ketosis stage as protein can also get converted to sugar in the body. About 60-80% of the calories have to come from fat. To start with, most people are unable to eat fat-rich food, which helps in calorie control. On the other hand, lower carbohydrate intake reduces appetite. Fats that are high in medium-chain triglycerides, such as coconut oil and MCT oil, and foods high in monounsaturated and saturated fats, such as olive oil, butter, cheese, avocado, etc., can be consumed in this diet plan.

  • Consume Low-Carb Foods

The ketogenic diet is not a special diet that requires special food. It requires reducing the intake of food that is high in carbohydrates. Use artificial sweeteners to eliminate processed sugar from your diet.

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3. Ketogenic Diet Plan


Image: iStock

Sample Diet Plan For Week 1

Early Morning (7:00 am)


  • Warm water with lemon

  • Warm water with 1 tablespoon Triphala powder

Breakfast (8:30 am)


  • 1 boiled egg + kale smoothie

  • Oats and milk

  • Quinoa

Lunch (12:30 pm)


  • Vegetable soup

  • Mushroom and lettuce salad with high fat dressing

  • Chicken, carrot, bell pepper, and green beans salad with high-fat dressing

Post Lunch (2:30 pm)

1 cup Greek yogurt and 2 almonds

Evening Snack (5:00 pm)

1 cup green tea with a dash of lemon

Dinner (7:30 pm)


  • Shrimp and zoodles

  • Mashed broccoli and potato with sour cream

  • Mushroom and cream soup

Why This Works

In the first week of the ketogenic diet, there is a greater loss in weight as eating a low-carb diet expels excess water from the body. Excess sodium is also flushed out from the liver. This leads to rapid weight loss. The extra ketones produced in the body are not stored but excreted in the form of waste through urine. Have six meals per day with lots of proteins and good fats to help boost your metabolism and burn fat. You will be on a low-carb diet and obtain micronutrients from veggies, fruits, and nuts. This diet plan for week 1 will prevent your body from going into the starvation mode, and you will have more energy to move about and work.

Tips For Week 1
  • You can opt for soy milk if you are lactose intolerant.
  • If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Disease or if you are sensitive to gluten, check the labels before buying oats and quinoa. Opt for flour products instead of wheat products.
  • You can also make breakfast or lunch from the leftovers. This will save time, and you will be less likely to waste food.
  • Join a gym to get the best results from your diet plan.

Do not eat eggs, nuts, or shrimps if you are allergic to them.

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Keto Diet Substitutes Week 1

Here is the list of substitutes for ingredients for week 1 of the ketogenic diet plan:

Lemon – Apple cider vinegar
Egg – Bacon
Kale – Spinach or carrot
Oats or quinoa – Flour bread (if you are gluten sensitive), multigrain bread, or semolina
Mushroom – Soy chunks, lentils, or fish
Chicken – Turkey, legumes, fish, or ground beef
Greek yogurt – Flavored yogurt
Almonds – Pecan nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, baby carrots, or a small bowl of cucumber
Green tea – Black tea, black coffee, white tea, or tulsi tea
Shrimp – Tuna, salmon, crab, or soy chunks
Broccoli – Spinach, cauliflower, butternut squash, ground turkey, or chickpeas
Potato – Sweet potato
Sour cream – Yogurt, homemade mayonnaise, or clarified butter
Cream – No substitute as such. If you do not want to use cream in your soup, just make clear soup and add a teaspoon of butter.

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Keto Recipe Week 1

Mushroom & Lettuce Salad


Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • 1 cup diced button mushroom
  • 2 chopped iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 chopped tomato
  • 2 chopped cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Salt
How To Prepare

1. In a frying pan, add one tablespoon olive oil and saute the chopped garlic, mushrooms, and bell peppers.
2. Transfer the sauteed ingredients to a bowl.
3. Add the chopped lettuce, tomato, and chili flakes. Toss well.
4. For the dressing, add two tablespoons of olive oil, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, salt, and lime juice. Stir to mix well.
5. Add this on top of the veggies and mushroom. Toss to mix well.

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4. Sample Diet Plan For Week 2

Early Morning (7:00 am)

Warm water with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Breakfast (8:30 am)


  • 1 cup bulletproof coffee + 1 pancake with organic maple syrup

  • 1 whole boiled egg and a glass of milk or soy milk

  • 1 cup bulletproof coffee + Chia seeds and oats

Lunch (12:30 pm)


  • Lettuce taco with avocado and tomatoes

  • Asian style stir-fried chicken and veggies

  • Grilled lean beef with broccoli and green beans with good high fat sauce

Post Lunch (2:30 pm)

1 small bowl of flavored yogurt

Evening Snack (5:00 pm)

2 flaxseed crackers + 1 cup bulletproof coffee

Dinner (7:30 pm)


  • Grilled fish with carrots and greens

  • Butternut squash soup with fresh cream

  • Lentil soup with bottle gourd and cauliflower

Why This Works

Similar to week 1, you will eat six meals per day and have bulletproof coffee twice a day. Bulletproof coffee is made by adding butter, coconut oil, and cream to your regular black coffee. It contains medium-chain triglycerides that help you lose fat. These medium-chain fatty acids get converted into ketone bodies, which give us more energy. Make sure you get a good amount of proteins through meat or legumes. A minimum amount of carbohydrates is also required, so do not ignore veggies totally as they will also provide you with beneficial micronutrients.

Tips For Week 2
  • Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of water (add a pinch of salt to a bottle of water).
  • If you are working out regularly for one hour per day, have a sports drink after you have finished working out.
  • You can also eat a small amount of carbs post your workout as they are metabolized faster after a workout session and the sugar will be used to reenergize the muscles.
  • Also, take time to drink the bulletproof coffee. Gulping it down at one go may make you feel sick.

Tomatoes are high in uric acid and must be avoided if you are suffering from gout. Do not consume too much of maple syrup as it will increase the blood sugar levels.

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Keto Diet Substitutes – Week 2

Apple cider vinegar – Ground cinnamon or lemon
Bulletproof coffee – Green tea with coconut oil or cream
Pancake – If you are not gluten sensitive, you may opt for wheat flour pancakes. You may make it tasty by adding chopped carrots, onion, or cauliflower. If you do not like pancakes, you may make quinoa, scrambled eggs, or drink a glass of banana milkshake.
Maple syrup – You make completely avoid it or opt for dark chocolate syrup. If you prepare the savory pancake, you may eat it with or without yogurt or cheddar cheese.
Boiled egg – Boiled chicken breast
Milk – Soy milk or fresh fruit juice (without added sugar or artificial sweetener)
Chia Seeds – If you do not like the taste of chia seeds, you may opt for banana milkshake with ground flax seeds.
Oats – Replace oats with semolina, quinoa, flour bread, multigrain bread, wheat bread, homemade wheat flatbread, or fresh mixed fruit juice (without added sugar or artificial sweetener).
Lettuce – You may opt for spinach, kale, Chinese cabbage, or bok choy.
Avocado – If you are not a fan of avocado, you may opt for cheddar cheese, cream cheese, or goat cheese. Smear it on veggies such as asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower along with a little lime juice, salt, and pepper.
Tomato – If you do not like to eat tomato or are allergic to it, you may opt for cucumber, celery, carrots, or nuts.
Chicken – Tired of eating chicken? You may replace it with turkey bacon, ground turkey, ground beef, mackerel, shrimps, tuna, mushrooms, soy chunks, kidney beans, or chickpeas.
Beef – You may replace beef with fish, mushrooms, clams, oysters, lobster, crab, or legumes.
Broccoli – Not many of us like eating broccoli. So, you can replace it with spinach, cauliflower, butternut squash, ground turkey, or chickpeas.
Green beans – You may opt for bottle gourd, butternut squash, Chinese cabbage, leek, celery, bok choy, greens, asparagus, or broccoli.
Flavored yogurt – Replace it with Greek yogurt, almonds, apple, plum, or pear.
Flaxseed crackers – Opt for multigrain crackers or digestive biscuits.
Fish – Some of you may not like eating fish. You may replace fish with legumes, soy chunks, chicken, turkey, beef, eggs, or mushrooms.
Carrots – Replace carrots with beetroot, celery, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, squash, pumpkin, red bell pepper, or radish.
Greens – You may replace the greens with iceberg lettuce, kale, chard, bok choy, and cabbage.
Butternut squash – Replace it with any gourd, pumpkin, carrots, or turnip.
Cream – No substitute as such. If you do not want to use cream in your soup, heat milk and butter in a pan and add it to the soup.
Lentil – You may opt for chickpeas, mung beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, green peas, soy milk, soy chunk, mushroom, chicken, beef, turkey, or fish.
Bottle gourd – Replace bottle gourd with squash, cucumber, or spinach.
Cauliflower – You may eat broccoli, Chinese cabbage, leek, bok choy, or chard instead of cauliflower.

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Keto Recipe – Week 2

Lentil Soup With Bottle Gourd And Cauliflower


Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • 1 cup julienned bottle gourd
  • 1/2 cup yellow lentils
  • 1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup green peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 green chili chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon clarified butter (ghee)
  • 2 tablespoons rice bran oil
  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt
How To Prepare

1. Let the yellow lentils boil and become soft.
2. In the meanwhile, add a little oil in a frying pan. Add cumin seeds and the bay leaf and fry till you get the aroma of cumin seeds.
3. Add the chopped onion and let it fry for a minute.
4. Add the green chili, coriander powder, green peas, turmeric powder, cayenne pepper powder, and salt. Fry for about 30 seconds.
5. Add a little water and fry the spices for about 30 seconds.
6. Add the cauliflower and cook for two minutes with the lid on.
7. Add the bottle gourd and cook for five minutes with the lid on.
8. Now, add the lentils along with the water and cook for five to seven minutes.
9. Finally, add the clarified butter and chopped coriander leaves.

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5. Sample Diet Plan For Week 3

Early Morning (7:00 am)

Warm water with lemon and 1 tablespoon organic honey

Breakfast (8:30 am)


  • 1 cup green tea + 1 boiled egg + spinach smoothie

  • 1 cup green tea+ 3 pancakes with a generous amount of whipped cream and organic honey

  • 1 medium bowl of quinoa with vegetables cooked in ghee

Lunch (12:30)

2 almonds or 1 cup Greek yogurt

Evening Snack (4:30 pm)

1 cup green tea

Dinner (7:00 pm)


  • Grilled chicken salad with good high fat dressing

  • Soy chunk wrap (use wheat flat bread)

  • Ground beef (lean cut) and grilled sweet potatoes

Why This Works

Week 3, though similar to the first two weeks, is significantly different based on the amount of calories you intake. During this week, you have to skip lunch. Eat minimum quantities of nuts or Greek yogurt for lunch. The post-lunch meal is omitted in this week to help you digest and use the stored energy from the heavy breakfast. A good protein-rich dinner will help fill you up and reenergize you.

Tips For Week 3
  • You may experience headaches and fatigue. This is actually good news as these are the primary signs that ketosis has kicked in.
  • Drink enough water and sports drinks after working out. You can make a homemade electrolyte drink by adding a pinch of salt and a pinch of aspartame to a liter of water.
  • You may also make simple detox drinks and sip them throughout the day.

You must restrict your consumption of sweet potatoes and clarified butter or ghee to a minimum. Foods that are high in fat or sugar can hinder your weight loss.

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Keto Diet Substitutes – Week 3

Lemon – You can use apple cider vinegar instead of lemon.
Organic honey – If you do not like the taste of honey, you may have a teaspoon of organic maple syrup.
Green tea – Black tea, black coffee, white tea, or tulsi tea.
Boiled egg – Boiled chicken breast.
Spinach smoothie – You may opt for kale smoothie, carrot juice, fresh fruit juice, or banana milkshake (without added sugar or artificial sweetener).
Pancake – If you are not gluten sensitive, you may opt for wheat flour pancakes. You may make it savory by adding chopped carrots, onion, and cauliflower. If you do not like pancakes, you may make quinoa, scrambled eggs, or drink a glass of banana milkshake.
Whipped cream – You may use full-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt instead of whipped cream.
Quinoa – Replace quinoa with semolina, cracked wheat porridge, flour bread, multigrain bread, wheat bread, homemade wheat flat bread, or fresh mixed fruit juice (without added sugar or artificial sweetener).
Ghee or clarified butter – You may use cheese, butter (unsalted), or olive oil.
Almonds – You may opt for avocado, pecan nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, cheese, or butter.
Greek yogurt – Flavored yogurt or a small bowl of cucumber.
Grilled chicken salad – Hummus, grilled veggie salad, tuna salad, or Bengal gram salad.
Soy chunk wrap – If you do not like to eat soy chunks, you may replace it with mushrooms, kidney beans, chili, veggies, chicken or turkey.
Ground beef – The best alternatives to ground beef are ground turkey, ground lamb, chicken liver, chickpeas, soy chunks, and lentils.
Grilled sweet potatoes – Grilled potato or grilled veggies.

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Keto Recipe – Week 3

Quinoa With Vegetables


Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 medium-sized carrot chopped
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup green peas
  • 1 dried red chili chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter (ghee)
  • Salt
  • 1 cup hot water
How To Prepare

1. Roast the quinoa on a heated pan. Keep stirring to prevent it from burning. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Add the clarified butter to the frying pan and heat it (do not heat too much).
3. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chopped dried red chili, and curry leaves and fry for 10 seconds.
4. Add the chopped onion and saute.
5. Add the peas and the chopped carrot. Cook for about a minute.
6. Add the roasted quinoa, hot water, and salt.
7. Put the lid on and simmer until the water has dried and the quinoa is soft.
8. Use a fork to make the quinoa fluffy.

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6. Sample Diet Plan For Week 4

Early Morning (7:00 am)

Warm water with lime juice and flax seed powder

Breakfast (8:30 am)

1 cup green tea or black coffee

Lunch (12:30 pm)

1 apple or 1 glass buttermilk

Dinner (7:30 pm)


  • Chicken soup + fruit custard

  • Mashed potato with spinach, garlic, and a dollop of clarified butter (ghee) + flavored yogurt

  • Smoked turkey bacon + veggies + 1 medium-sized chocolate brownie

Why This Works

Week 4 is the toughest week you will face in the ketogenic diet. This is more of an intermittent fasting as you will be allowed to consume only green tea, coffee, water, buttermilk, and one apple from morning till evening. This will be followed by a good high-fat, high-protein, and low-carb dinner. You are also allowed to have dessert for dinner. This will help to fill you up for the next day as well. You will lose a lot of weight during this time as ketosis will help you burn the fat. This is the week when regular exercisers will benefit the most.

Tips For Week 4
  • If you cannot follow the diet plan for week 4 as it is, you may follow the week 3 diet plan.
  • Stay hydrated, take rest, workout, and take supplements (if needed) only after consulting your doctor or nutritionist.
  • It is best to make desserts at home. However, if it is not possible, eat a bowl of grapes, dried apricots, apple, kiwi, and two almonds with sour cream.

You might feel very weak and want to munch on unhealthy snacks. If you do not stay hydrated, you may give in to your hunger and eat high-carb snacks.

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Keto Diet Substitutes – Week 4

Lime juice – Replace lime juice with apple cider vinegar and cinnamon.
Flax seed powder – You may use pumpkin seed powder or melon seed powder.
Green tea – Black tea, white tea, or tulsi tea.
Apple – The best replacements for apple are kiwi, peach, pear, and banana.
Buttermilk – If you are lactose intolerant, you may drink a glass of fresh fruit juice (without added sugar or artificial sweetener).
Chicken soup – Replace chicken soup with vegetable soup, grilled veggies, boiled lentils, grilled eggplant, soy chunk sandwich, vegetable burger, or stir-fried veggies.
Fruit custard – Frozen yogurt or flavored yogurt.
Mashed potato – Grilled sweet potato, blanched asparagus, or baby corn.
Spinach – Kale, Swiss chard, greens, leek, or blanched pumpkin leaves.
Garlic – Oregano or thyme.
Ghee or clarified butter – You may use cheese, butter (unsalted) or olive oil.
Flavored yogurt – Greek yogurt
Smoked turkey bacon – Smoked salmon, smoked tuna, or grilled veggies.
Vegetables – There is no specific alternative to a vegetable. But, when you do not want to eat vegetables, make sure to eat 3-4 servings of fruits in one day. Have cheese, clarified butter, butter, olive oil, yogurt, or nuts and seeds to keep your hunger at bay.
Chocolate brownie – If you do not want to eat a chocolate brownie for dessert, you may opt for flavored yogurt, fruit custard, fruits with sour cream, a small piece of homemade lemon cake, or carrot cake.

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Keto Recipe – Week 4

Mashed Potato With Spinach & Garlic


Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • 1 medium-sized potato
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 dollop of clarified butter
  • Salt and pepper
How To Prepare

1. Boil the potato with the skin.
2. Peel the skin and mash the potato.
3. Chop the spinach finely.
4. Add a little oil in a frying pan and fry the chopped pieces of garlic until they become brown.
5. Add onion and the sprig of thyme and saute.
6. Add the chopped spinach, salt, and pepper. Cook for about a minute.
7. Remove the thyme sprig and add mashed potato into the frying pan and stir well.
8. Switch off the burner, add the clarified butter and stir again.

Note: Eating a medium-sized potato once a week will not harm you or your weight loss goals. Like all other veggies, potatoes have micronutrients that are essential for your body. The trick is to eat potatoes or high starch foods in small amounts, cooked in the best possible way. However, if you have any special condition (like diabetes), do not consume potatoes.

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7. Sample Diet Plan For Week 5

Early Morning (7:00 am)

1 cup green tea or black coffee with lime juice

Breakfast (8:30 am)


  • 1 banana + 1 glass of milk

  • Scrambled eggs+ 1 toast

  • Oatmeal

Lunch (12:30 pm)


  • Homemade chicken/tuna sandwich with lettuce and tomato slices

  • Vegetable soup with roasted pumpkin seed powder

  • Grilled salmon with chives, garlic, and 1 teaspoon butter

Evening Snack (5:00 pm)

1 cup green tea or black coffee

Dinner (7:30 pm)


  • American beef or chicken chilly

  • Spinach stuffed wheat bread with cucumber and tomato in curd

  • Asian style stir-fried chicken (with skin)

Why This Works

Week 5 will help your body to come out of the intermittent fasting phase. A good heavy breakfast followed by a light lunch is the way to go when you are in the last week of the ketogenic diet. Eat a balanced amount of veggies, proteins, and fat for dinner to help you feel energized and build muscle mass.

Tips For Week 5
  • You may replace milk with soy milk.
  • Scramble one whole egg as though egg yolk is considered to have more cholesterol, it contains essential nutrients. If you want to eat only egg whites, you may have to take vitamin supplements (check with your nutritionist).
  • Prepare your lunch the night before or you can also take the leftovers for lunch.
  • Take out a little time to cook dinner at home and keep working out.

The last week of the diet plan is exciting as you have lost a lot of weight. However, this can also trigger your carb cravings, and you may eat foods as a “reward” for losing so much weight. It’s a trap – do not fall for it. You will regain the weight soon, and your weeks of endurance and patience will go down the drain. Stay motivated until the end of the 5-week keto diet plan.

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Keto Diet Substitutes – Week 5

reen tea – Black tea, white tea, or tulsi tea.
Lime juice – Replace lime juice with apple cider vinegar and cinnamon.
Banana – If you do not like to eat banana, opt for watermelon, melon, apricots, grapes, flaxseeds, nuts, or apple.
Milk – Soy milk or fresh fruit juice (without added sugar or artificial sweetener).
Scrambled eggs – Bacon
Bread toast – Kale smoothie, vegetable juice, or fruit juice (without added sugar or artificial sweetener).
Oatmeal – Quinoa, semolina, wheat flat bread, flour bread, or cracked wheat porridge.
Chicken/tuna sandwich – Vegetable sandwich, grilled asparagus salad, or butternut squash soup.
Lettuce – You may replace lettuce with kale or spinach.
Tomato – If you do not like to eat tomato or are allergic to it, you may opt for cucumber, celery, carrots, or nuts.
Vegetable soup – If you think vegetable soup is too bland for your taste, you may add mushrooms or chicken breast cubes to the vegetable soup. You may also make grilled veggies or grilled salmon. If you are a vegan, try to add legumes to the vegetable soup.
Pumpkin seed – Substitute pumpkin seeds with flax seeds or melon seeds. If you are not a fan of these, you may add two almonds or four pecan nuts.
Salmon – Use chicken, turkey, ground beef, mackerel, tuna, or eggplants instead of salmon.
Chives – You may use herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, coriander leaves, or dill.
Garlic – If you do not like to use garlic, use finely chopped leek or fennel seeds.
Butter – You may use olive oil or cheese instead of butter.
Beef – You may use soy chunks, chicken breast or ground turkey.
Chicken – You may replace it with turkey bacon, ground turkey, ground beef, mackerel, shrimps, tuna, mushrooms, soy chunks, kidney beans, or chickpeas.
Kidney beans – Kidney beans are one of the ingredients of American beef or chicken chilly. If you do not like kidney beans, you may use green mung beans or chickpeas.
Spinach – For spinach stuffed wheat bread, one of the best alternatives is to use green peas paste for the stuffing instead of spinach. You may use pita bread if you do not want to eat wheat bread.
Cucumber – Instead of cucumber, you may use carrots.
Tomato – Use red bell peppers if you do not want to use tomato.

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Keto Recipe – Week 5

Grilled Salmon With Chives


Image: Shutterstock

What You Need
  • 1 salmon fillet
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Lime juice
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • Salt and pepper
How To Prepare

1. Marinate the salmon fillet with lime juice, salt, and pepper.
2. Add the butter in a frying pan and let it melt (do not let it burn).
3. Add the chopped garlic and fry it till the pieces are brown.
4. Add the chopped onion and the rosemary sprig and cook for about a minute.
5. In the meantime, grill the marinated salmon. Cook each side for two minutes.
6. Put the grilled salmon on a plate and drizzle the butter sauce over the salmon.
7. Add the chives on top.
8. Add chopped cucumber, tomato, a pinch of salt, cumin powder, and yogurt in a bowl and stir well.
9. Dig into the aromatic salmon along with the yogurt condiment.

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8. Ketogenic Diet Shopping List


Image: Shutterstock

Before you start the ketogenic diet plan, it is important that you know what you should buy at the supermarket to keep away from high carb food and to attain your weight loss goals in five weeks. Shop according to your diet plan. Do not buy things that will pull you off the track. Here are a few rules that you must follow while grocery shopping:

1. Always shop from the grocery, vegetable, and meat aisle.
2. Check the labels of the products to know if they have any additives.
3. Do not buy condiments as they contain a lot of sugar and preservatives.
4. Avoid the carb isle totally.
5. Buy a pack of good green tea.
6. Avoid fruits as they contain fruit sugar and carbs, which you totally want to avoid on the ketogenic diet.

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9. Ketogenic Diet Foods

Fats – Olive oil, canola oil, rice bran oil, soybean oil, ghee (clarified butter), peanut butter, butter, avocado, and macadamia nuts.
Protein – Salmon, trout, tuna, bacon, chicken breast, lamb, veal, lean cuts of beef and pork, lean turkey, mushroom, lentils, mung beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, Bengal gram, and soy chunks.
Nuts & Seeds – Almond, walnut, hazelnut, peanut, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pistachios, pecan nuts, and sunflower seeds.
Dairy – Milk, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, eggs, Greek yogurt, plain yogurt, flavored yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, and probiotic drink.
Vegetables – Broccoli, green beans, asparagus, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, tomato, cucumber, spinach, lettuce, squash, greens, leek, bok choy, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, ginger, and beetroot.
Herbs & Spices – Coriander leaves, basil, mint leaves, cloves, rosemary, thyme, oregano, fennel, fenugreek, cumin, coriander powder, turmeric, pepper, salt (very less amount), sage, parsley, and cayenne pepper.
Sweeteners – Stevia and erythritol.
Beverages – Green tea, black coffee, and water.

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10. Ketogenic Diet Foods To Avoid

Diet Soda – Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners and might seem fine for you to drink while you are on the ketogenic diet. Hold that thought. Artificial sweeteners can also increase your blood glucose level and lead to weight gain if taken in unlimited amounts. Also, too much of carbonated drinks can make you bloated.

Fruits – Fruits contain sugar, which can increase your blood glucose levels. Since the idea of the ketogenic diet is to minimize the sugar intake, it is better to have 2-3 servings (1 serving = size of your palm) of vegetables and keep yourself fed, rather than munching on 1 fruit.

Spices To Avoid – Certain spices contain carbs, and you might want to avoid them. Avoid onion powder, garlic powder, bay leaves, allspice, cinnamon, and cardamom.

Pepper – Though they are nutritious, avoid eating yellow and red peppers while you are on the ketogenic diet as these peppers contain more carbs than the green peppers.

Packaged Condiments Or Canned Food – Packaged condiments, such as tomato ketchup, tomato puree, barbecue sauce, etc., contain high amounts of sugar, artificial flavor and color, carbs, and preservatives. These are all red flags when it comes to buying packaged condiments or canned foods. Avoid buying these from the supermarket. If you do buy, check the label. The lesser the ingredients, the better.

Medicines – Most medicines, especially the syrups, contain a high amount of sugar. Tablets are also sometimes coated with sugar. Antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants contain chemicals that hinder weight loss. Explain your weight loss goals to your doctor so that he or she can prescribe another medicine that will not hinder the weight loss.

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11. Role Of Exercise


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Many people who follow the ketogenic diet are happy about the fact that you do not have to exercise when on this diet. Even when you are asleep, the diet helps your body to burn calories. The diet is good for people who are extremely obese or have any disability that prevents them from exercising.

But if you are the kind of person who feels that exercise can help to recharge your mood, then go ahead. Here is a 5-week keto exercise plan that will speed up your weight loss, help you build muscle mass, and tone your body. During Week 1–Week 3, you may go for rigorous weight loss exercises such as running, walking, stairs running, aerobics, etc. Slow down a bit when you are in Week 4. The fourth week is the toughest as per your diet plan. You will be mostly on a liquid diet. Hence, it is best to go for power yoga, meditation, stretching, and walking. However, if you feel energetic enough, you may carry on with Week 3’s exercise plan. In Week 5, you will exercise for weight loss and build muscles. Hence, opt for spot jogging, running, yoga, and strength training.

Week 1 Exercises

Warm up+ spot jogging+running+jumping jacks+rope jumping

Week 2 Exercises

Warm up+rope jumping+ squat+ push ups+ scissor kicks+aerobics

Week 3 Exercises

Warm up+Staircase running+push ups+scissor kicks+cardio

Week 4 Exercises

Warm up+yoga+walking+meditation

Week 5 Exercises

Warm up+spot jogging+running+yoga+strength training

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12. Lifestyle Changes


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  • Do Not Starve Yourself

People often starve themselves to lose weight. However, not everyone is successful. The secret lies in your body type, metabolic rate, and the energy expended. If you have an endomorphic body type and start to eat very less calories per day, your body will go into the starvation mode and store everything in the form of fat. Therefore, eat healthy and on time to lose weight.

  • Build Your Social Support

Social support is one of the most important factors for you to lose weight. If you are on a weight loss plan, and people around you do not appreciate or respect your mission, it is more likely that you will falter and never reach your ideal weight. Hang out with people who are more into fitness and lead a healthy lifestyle. Let your spouse know how important losing weight is to you so that you can help each other to eat healthy and workout regularly.

  • Cook Your Food

Yes, this is one lifestyle change that will not only help you eat healthy but also give you the mental satisfaction of creating healthy and tasty food. Of course, it will take some time and experimentation to know what tastes better with which ingredients. However, the joy of cooking good food and making healthy cooking choices will fill you with positive emotions.

  • Join An Extracurricular Class

Stress and emotional eating are the major reasons for weight gain. Doing what you have always wanted to do and indulging in activities that make you happy will lower your stress levels and help you lose weight, especially in the belly region. Join an extracurricular class, meet new people, and try out things that you have always wanted to.

  • Sleep

The best way to get rid of tiredness is to sleep on time and for seven to eight hours a day. Sleep deprivation is one of the causes of obesity. Less sleep also puts you at the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (2).

  • Workout Regularly

Working out regularly will help to keep your weight in check. Also, there are numerous health benefits of exercising such as staying fit and active, preventing heart disease, being more sensitive to insulin, reduction in stress, depression, anxiety, and also stopping uncontrolled cell proliferation (3).

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13. Keto Diet Supplements


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a. Spirulina To Lower LDL Cholesterol

Spirulina is a blue-green algae, and there are two main species namely, Arthrospira patensis and Arthrospira maxima. It can make its food via photosynthesis and is mostly composed of proteins.
Low-Density Lipoprotein transports cholesterol produced by the cells and the liver. LDL moves slower than HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) in the bloodstream and gets oxidized by the free radicals. The oxidized LDL settles on the walls of the arteries. This triggers inflammation and an anti-inflammatory response by the white blood cells. It has been found that taking spirulina supplements significantly lowers the LDL cholesterol in the blood. Therefore, spirulina helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver (4).

b. Fish Oil To Reduce Blood Triglyceride Levels

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats and are found in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in foods such as walnuts, chia seeds, soyabean oil, etc., and in the form of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fish oil supplements and fatty fish. Due to poor food habits, we do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce the blood triglyceride levels (5).

c. Sodium And Potassium Supplements

Sodium and potassium help to maintain the blood pressure, growth, and acid-base pH of the body, and regulate water levels in the body. Since you will lose a lot of water while on the keto diet, you will also lose a lot of sodium and potassium from the body. This can lead to depletion of insulin, insulin resistance, stalling of growth, reduced rate of metabolism, etc. Therefore, it is important to take sodium and potassium supplements. Add salt to your water or detox drink. You may opt for low-sodium salt options as well. Meats, soups, and eggs are high in sodium content. Please check with your doctor before taking the sodium and potassium supplements.

d. Magnesium Supplement

Magnesium acts as a cofactor for a host of reactions. It regulates blood pressure, maintains muscle and nerve functions, regulates blood sugar, and helps to synthesize proteins. Since the keto diet demands the dieters to be on a low-carb diet, many magnesium-containing foods are avoided by dieters. Low magnesium levels lead to muscle cramps and fatigue. Therefore, vegetables that contain fewer carbs, such as green leafy veggies, nuts, and seeds, should not be avoided. Also, take magnesium supplements on a daily basis while you are on the keto diet. However, do not forget to consult your doctor before taking any supplement.

e. Vitamin D Supplement

Vitamin D not only helps to maintain bone density but also helps in the absorption of magnesium. It helps in muscle growth, aids weight loss, and boosts immunity. Since the ketogenic diet is a low-carb and a moderate protein diet, it is best to include vitamin D supplements if you do not get at least 10 minutes of sun exposure every day. Do consult your doctor before taking vitamin D supplements.

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14. Keto Diet Result


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So, does the ketogenic diet really work? Many men and women around the world have taken up the ketogenic diet to lose weight.

Here is a vlog by Cee Cee Dee who lost 6 pounds by the end of the Week 3. Her body started producing ketone bodies, which is a sign that the body’s main energy source is fat (fat gets converted to ketones) and not sugar.

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15. Keto Diet Benefits


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  • Helps To Shed Fat

The body stores fat in various places: subcutaneous fat (under the skin) and visceral fat (in the abdominal cavity). The second type of fat is dangerous as it lodges around the organs. It leads to inflammation and metabolic dysfunction. The ketogenic diet helps to shed this harmful fat from the body.

  • Reduces The Risk Of Heart Disease

Fat molecules known as triglycerides are elevated due to high carbohydrate consumption. This can be reduced considerably with a low-carbohydrate diet, which in turn cuts down the risk of heart disease.

  • Increases HDL Levels

To have a healthy heart, it is important to have a healthy HDL level. The HDL carries cholesterol from the rest of the body to the liver to be excreted. The ketogenic diet increases the HDL level (6).

  • Treats Diabetes

The ketogenic diet is known to improve the sugar and insulin levels in the body. Foods high in carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugar, and they increase the blood sugar levels. The hormone called insulin helps to store glucose in the cells. This gives rise to type II diabetes. The ketogenic diet helps to treat and can even reverse this kind of diabetes.

  • Lowers Blood Pressure

Many studies show that a low-carbohydrate diet helps to reduce blood pressure. This helps to prevent many kinds of diseases like stroke, heart diseases, kidney failure, etc.

  • Reduces The Blood LDL Levels

A high carbohydrate diet often leads to LDL cholesterol floating in the bloodstream. This can lead to heart diseases. A low-carb diet helps to cut down the number of LDL floating in the bloodstream, which keeps the heart protected (7).

  • Useful For Treating Brain Disorders

The ketogenic diet is good for many brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

  • Useful For Treating Epilepsy In Children

The ketogenic diet was created to treat epileptic children. This diet is recommended for patients who are unresponsive to other anti-seizure drugs or treatments.

  • Improves The Health Of Cancer Patients

The ketogenic diet is also helpful for cancer patients. Cancer cells use sugar as the main source of energy. A diet that is low in carbs, high in good fats, and moderate in proteins has shown to improve the health of also those in the advanced stage of cancer (8).

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16. Keto Diet Side Effects

  • You may feel dizzy and weak initially.
  • You might feel the urge to urinate frequently.
  • You may experience sweating palms and chills in the feet at night.
  • You might experience mood swings, confusion, and poor brain function.
  • It is important that the diet should not be followed for a longer period. Following the diet for a short time claims to bring about significant weight loss. Following it for a longer period may lead to mineral and vitamin deficiency.

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17. Ketogenic Diet Tips

  • Processed or packaged food is a complete no-no. To achieve the weight loss goal, eat home-cooked food, which is the key to lose weight on the ketogenic diet.
  • Avoid eating colorful food, which is full of nutrients and minerals. Eat limited amounts of broccoli, sweet potatoes, and berries. Avoid eating cakes, milk chocolates, and bread.
  • Eat your meals early to stick to your diet. This will also help to accurately track the intake of protein, carbohydrate, and fat. This, in turn, will lead to weight loss.
  • The ketogenic diet brings about a complete lifestyle change. Instead of walking into a coffee shop for a cup of coffee and a sandwich, you can make coffee and have eggs at home.
  • A low-carb diet flushes out the excess water from the body. Hence, it is important to drink sufficient water. You can increase your water intake to 10-11 glasses.
  • Once on the diet plan, you need not weigh yourself daily. The weight loss may not be uniform. Water intake and absorption can be different on different days, and this may result in varying weight loss.
  • Concentrate on the health benefits and weight loss will follow.
  • The first few days of the diet can be a little difficult. There can be cravings. A little distraction can help to overcome these cravings. Gradually, the cravings will be reduced as the ketogenic diet is itself an appetite suppressant

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Is the keto diet safe?

Yes, the keto diet is safe if you want to lose weight over a period of one to two months. However, consult your doctor or nutritionist to know if this diet plan is apt for you.

How much weight can I lose by following the keto diet?

You may lose about 8 pounds over a period of 5 weeks with a proper exercise routine.

I am on the keto diet for three weeks, and I have not lost any weight. Please help.

There are various reasons for not losing weight while on a low-carb diet like eating too many low carb treats in a day, snacking on too many fruits, not exercising enough, eating too many or too less proteins, too many cheat meals per week, too much fat consumption, stress, hormonal imbalance, and not getting enough sleep. Record what you are eating, your exercise routine, and your daily activities for three days. You may show this to your trainer or doctor to know if you are strictly following the keto diet plan.

Can the ketogenic diet be recommended for epilepsy patients?

The ketogenic diet is recommended by doctors for children suffering from epilepsy when other treatments fail. If you are suffering from epilepsy, check with your doctor to know if you can follow this diet plan.

What is the ideal ketogenic diet bodybuilding meal plan?

If you are interested in bodybuilding, you first have to lose weight and then build muscle. The ketogenic diet plan mentioned above is a low carb, high good fat, and moderate protein diet plan. To lose the fat, you should start with the 5-week ketogenic diet plan. Once your fat burning process is initiated, and you have lost a good amount of fat, you may start having high-protein diet along with vitamin, mineral, and protein supplements (if required). I recommend that you consult a physician and a trainer who can work together to make sure that you are not harming your body.

Can I be on the ketogenic diet to lose weight post childbirth?

Right after childbirth, your baby will need nutrition, which will come from what you eat. Eat enough proteins, good fats, and carbs so that your baby remains healthy. You may start dieting after two months. Start by reducing the carbs gradually. Also, consult with your physician to know if whether the ketogenic diet plan would be the best diet plan for you to lose weight.

Will eating so much fat really burn the fat?

Yes. The ketogenic diet plan includes good fats. Fats (saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated) are good for your health until you eat them in equal proportions. Also, make sure to include omega-3 fatty acids in your daily diet. These will help lower the cholesterol levels and also aid weight loss.

Is alcohol consumption allowed?

You may consume one small glass of wine once a week. Avoid all other types of alcohol as they are full of carbs and will only interfere with your weight loss goals.

Do I have to take supplements?

If you are new to a low-carb diet, you may feel weak and may experience muscle cramps. You may take multivitamin, magnesium, and calcium supplements. Talk to your nutritionist or doctor before taking any supplements.

I am experiencing constipation. Please help.

You should drink more fluids (water, fresh fruit juice, buttermilk, milk, etc.), banana, tea, coffee, and veggies that contain a good amount of fiber.

How can I measure ketones?

There are many devices in the market to measure the ketones such as Ketostix. You may buy them online or from the local pharmacy. Read the instructions carefully before using.

How many days will it take to enter the ketosis stage?

It can take anywhere from three days to a week to enter the ketosis stage, depending on your adherence to the low-carb diet plan and exercise routine. The more you adhere to the low-carb diet plan and exercise, the sooner you will enter the ketosis stage.

How can I be on a low-carb diet as I don’t get time to cook at home?

Avoid high carb foods such as pasta, bread, hot dogs, etc. Talk to the waiter or the chef and explain your food requirements. While going out for dinner or lunch with colleagues or friends, order low-carb foods, avoid condiments, and drink fresh fruit juice. Lastly, I suggest that you shop for veggies, wash them, chop them, and put them in ziplock bags on the weekends. This will reduce the food prep time. You can come back from work or school, toss in some veggies, add dijon mustard, olive oil, and lemon juice for a filling and nutritious salad.

How do I know if I am in ketosis?

Your body will take at least three days to enter the ketosis stage. You may use Ketostix to know whether your body has started producing ketones. Purple and pink colors on the stick indicate that your body has entered ketosis. A darker color indicates that your body is producing more ketones and is dehydrated. Drink enough water to prevent your body from becoming dehydrated. Remember that Ketostix is mostly an inaccurate indicator of ketosis. To get an accurate report, you may use a blood ketone meter. It will measure the amount of blood ketones, which is not affected by dehydration or hydration. Here is what the readings can mean:
High Ketosis – 1.5-3.0 mmol/L (perfect for weight loss)
Medium Ketosis – 0.9-1.4 mmol/L
Light Ketosis – 0.5-0.8 mmol/L

Can I eat a good amount of proteins on the ketogenic diet?

A limited amount of protein can be allowed on the ketogenic diet. Avoid a high-protein diet as the body converts protein into glucose. This will prevent it from entering into ketosis. Instead of burning fat, your body will use the protein reserves, convert them into glucose, and use this glucose for energy.

Is it normal to urinate a lot while on the ketogenic diet?

Yes, it is perfectly normal to urinate a lot while on the ketogenic diet. This is one of the indicators that you are in ketosis. You will lose a lot of water weight in the first week, so make sure you stay hydrated.

How to replenish the electrolytes?

As you will be losing a lot of water and electrolytes as well, they should be replenished. Try to take magnesium and potassium supplements and multivitamin supplements. Drink two cups of bouillon daily, add a pinch of salt to your drinking water or detox drink (do not add salt if you are suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes), or use low-sodium salts such as Lite Salt, LoSalt, SoSalt, and AlsoSalt.

What is keto flu?

Keto flu is a typical indicator of ketosis in the body. It is the body’s way of reacting to a low-carb diet and the initial stage of utilizing ketones as the energy source instead of glucose. You will experience a foggy brain for a few days initially. You will also lose a lot of water and electrolytes, so stay hydrated and replenish the electrolytes in your body.

How to calculate the carbs in my food?

You may check online on NutritionData website or use online tools such as myfitnesspal to calculate the total carbs that you are consuming per day. You can also get familiar with low carb foods to make better choices while buying the ingredients.

What are the healthy fats for the ketogenic diet?

Here are some healthy fats that you may consume:

olive oil, hemp seed oil, flax seed oil, mustard oil, rice bran oil, sunflower seed oil, clarified butter (ghee), flax seeds, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, cheese, fish oil, almonds, walnut, hazelnut, pumpkin seeds, melon seeds, soy, fish, cottonseed, and corn.

What are the weight loss stages in the ketogenic diet?

Typically, there are three stages of weight loss in the ketogenic diet:
Rapid weight loss stage – In this stage, you will lose a lot of water weight and see a visible change in your “bloat areas”.
Keto-adaptation stage – Your weight loss will become stagnant, and you may even gain weight. Your body is getting used to the new energy source and a depletion of sugar as fuel. This will last for about a week.
Complete keto-adaptation stage – Your body has now learned to use ketones as the main energy source. You will burn more fat. This stage starts in the middle of Week 3 and lasts till Week 4. Some of you may experience weight gain or no weight loss, but that’s ok. This is a natural process to gain weight or lose no weight. The closer you get to your goal, the more difficult it will be to lose weight. Make sure to adhere to the plan and exercise regularly.

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The ketogenic diet helps you lose all that extra fat piled on over the years. It is easy to follow and needs you to be careful about the things you eat.

So, what are you waiting for? Not only will you lose weight with the help of this diet, but will also feel a lot healthier than before. You will soon be recommending the ketogenic diet to friends and family!

Hope you found this article helpful. Do share your views and experiences on the ketogenic diet for weight loss in the comments section.

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